It was a delight to participate yesterday evening in a featured news program on Press TV just as the results of the voting were coming in. It is quite remarkable that the news room and their correspondent in Paris took a line of commentary that would fit perfectly within the reportage of the French mainstream news Establishment, Figaro or Le Monde. Their top question was whether Macron’s movement, which now had lost its absolute majority, could regain control of Parliament by forming a coalition with the traditional centrist party, the Republicans. Their top concern was whether this would enable Macron to proceed with his neo-Liberal domestic reform policies, such as raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 65.
It was my pleasure to throw a spanner in the works and redirect attention to Macron’s foreign policy, namely his support for Ukraine in the ongoing military conflict with Russia, a policy which the nominally Leftist Opposition coalition of Mélenchon shares fully. Indeed, judging by foreign policy issues, there was only one true Opposition in this election, Marine Le Pen and her Rassemblement national, which seeks good relations with Russia and distances itself from NATO. Note that Le Pen’s party did better in yesterday’s elections than ever before and will capture as many as 10 times the number of seats it held before the elections.
As I argued in yesterday’s mini-debate, continuation of the war thanks to French and other European and American military and financial assistance to Kiev, and the continued imposition of draconian sanctions on Russia particularly in the energy sphere, are feeding an inflationary cycle that will overwhelm political and economic life in France in the coming months, especially when the home heating season begins.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022